Animal Protection > Worldwide Actions > Herzegovina
NOA - BiH September 2009

download: Brigitte Bardot appeal letter for bears in BiH.PDF

Društvo za zaštitu životinja Noa, Banja Luka

Vlada Federacije Bosne i Hercegovine
Ministar poljoprivrede, vodoprivrede i šumarstva Federacije BiH
Ministar sc. Damir LJubić
Titova 15. , 71000 Sarajevo, BiH
Tel:+387 33 44 33 38
Fax: +387 33 66 36 59

Re: Request for immediate protection of all illegally caged wild animals in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). 

Dear Sir,

On September 22nd, 2009, NOA BiH – Animal Welfare Society received information from the federal inspector for Forestry and Hunting, Mr. Sulejman Hasimbegovic, that he ordered regional hunting inspectors to inspect all locations where wild animals are being kept in captivity and that the decision has been made to solve this problem by executing these caged animals.

We would like to ask you to please halt the execution of this decision made by the hunting inspector and to protect all caged wild animals until a humane and adequate adoption has been organized.


On September 8th, 2009 we wrote to the federal board of inspection, forestry and hunting inspectorate Mr. Muhamed Hodzic and asked him to supply us with information on the number of wild animals currently being kept in captivity (primarily bears and wolves) in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). We knew Mr. Hodzic had access to this information, as he published it in the article “Illegally imprisoned wild animals in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina”  - Magazine “AS” No. 491 on July 20th, 2008.

Our letter indicated that the reason for request of this information was to assist in our project, which was to accurately plan for the capacity needed to build a sanctuary for wild animals in BiH.

Unfortunately, for many years now a large number of wild animals have lived under illegal and completely inhumane and inadequate conditions where they are being kept as an attraction and marketing tool for restaurants and other catering establishments.  They all ended up in the hands of their current “owners” thanks to insensitive hunters who killed their mothers. 
Our TV entertainment in BiH for years included a show about a “beer drinking” bear on river Ugar. We received many appeals to save this bear even from a number of embassy representatives located in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Throughout the years not a single inspection agency made an effort to intervene and to stop animal abuse in an adequate way. When they received information that we are fighting for the welfare of imprisoned animals, Forestry and Hunting inspectorate decided to atone their intentional avoidance of this issue by executing the animals.

Regardless of what law lays behind the decision, it is completely unacceptable for these innocent animals to pay with their lives because of the bureaucratic ineptitude and human irresponsibility. After all these animals got in this position in the first place thanks to incompetence, arrogance and greed of the hunting union, which is incapable of controlling its membership army and preventing illegal hunting by which BiH is among the leaders in Europe.

How is it possible that the bear hunting season starts on May 15th, when we know that cubs are being born at the end of January and the beginning of February? Because of this and similar decisions female bears (sows) have been killed for years and their cubs illegally end up in the hands of individuals who only care about their own interest and the profit they make on these unfortunate cubs.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is the last country in Europe that doesn’t take any measures regarding its own and global animal welfare and which in such an uncivilized way, “helps” already threatened animals by killing them, at such a moment when throughout the world, and especially in Europe, desperate efforts are being taken to save each and every bear for conservation of the entire genetic potential.

That’s why the world sees Bosnia and Herzegovina as the BLACK HOLE ON THE EUROPEAN CONTINENT.

We believe you understand that the execution of the decision to kill all wild animals in captivity will cause an international scandal and an avalanche of reactions from animal welfare organizations and humanitarians throughout the world. This act would be a precedent and brutal attack on culture and heritage of all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Facts show that by law, Bosnian institutions cannot hide past crimes with new crimes against animals, especially if you take into consideration that most laws in BiH protect individual lobbyist and exploiters. All the same, no laws can oppose the UN declaration on animal welfare, which BiH signed.

Our animal welfare society – NOA, intensively works on gathering of the documentation needed for the construction of a sanctuary for wild animals in BiH following the European Union standards. This project is supported by our partners NOA – Internacional, NOA- France, NOA -Denmark, NOA -Canada, as well as WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals), which works in over 150 countries all over the world and whose membership we belong to.

I would like to ask you to immediately prevent the execution of this multiple harmful and hasty decision, and to protect ALL privately and illegally caged wild animals in BiH until the moment of their transfer to sanctuaries for animals that are no longer able to return to their natural habitats. Animals that are illegally caged are not guilty for current negligence and lack of government action and their execution would cause BiH to be judged internationally with unprecedented proportions.

We believe you will proceed appropriately and assist with the construction of the animal sanctuary in BiH, as well as help save the lives of these wonderful creatures. We also believe your correct decision will show national and international public Bosnia’s commitment to protect animals, which is one of the prerequisites of BiH being accepted into the union of developed democracies. In that case, BiH would confirm its belonging in the civilized world.

We would like to indicate that all negative consequences, which would come out of inadequate decisions, will be blamed on you and the ministry you direct.

Do not hesitate to contact us for any additional information and we would like to ask you to please respond to us in writing at your earliest convenience about the measures you are planning to take.


Dragomir Mijic 

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